Retail

Published: June 21, 2022 | Updated: June 22, 2022

End of an era: Jewellers announces imminent closure with 50 per cent reduction off stock

Neil and Elizabeth Harkness of Portique in Wimborne. Neil said: “The decision to close the business hasn’t been easy, but after such a wonderful career, I am ready to retire.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A jewellers which has traded in Wimborne for the last 19 years is to close following the decision of the owners to retire.

Portique, in East Street, relocated to the Minster town in 2003.

The family business was established in 1971 in Post Office Road, Bournemouth, by the late Mr R E Porter, great uncle of the current owner Neil Harkness.

Neil, and his wife Elizabeth, took the reins in 1997 when the business was located in Bournemouth’s Criterion Arcade.

The store moved to Wimborne when the arcade was redeveloped.

It quickly became a popular store in the heart of the town’s retail community.

Neil and Elizabeth ran Portique, with help from a dedicated team of staff and their three daughters.

Known for their personal service and quality, the knowledgeable team was headed up by Neil who has worked in the jewellery industry for more than 50 years.

His extensive experience has included working for luxury retailer Mappin and Webb where he was based in its London stores, including its Harrods concession.

From there Neil, pictured, went on to establish himself as a respected independent buyer and seller of fine jewellery and silverware.

The couple eventually settled in the south west where they made the decision to purchase Portique due to its longstanding family connections.

Neil said: “The decision to close the business hasn’t been easy, but after such a wonderful career, I am ready to retire and spend more time with my family.

“I will miss our customers, who are such lovely people.

“It’s been a privilege to be involved with so many special occasions in our customers’ lives and that really has been the most special part of my career.”

Elizabeth said: “Portique has been a great place to be, with a fabulous customer base and hugely supportive staff who are an integral part of the Portique family.

“We will be very sad to say goodbye.”

To celebrate many successful years of business, the store is hosting a spectacular closing down sale which will see all jewellery including diamonds, coloured stones, and gold pieces, reduced by 50 per cent.

The sale starts on Saturday, June 25, at 10am and continues until all stock is sold.

Sale items will include diamond pieces, engagement rings, necklaces, coloured stone pieces, wedding rings, earrings, bracelets, pearl jewellery and more.

All stock will be sold on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, with all items available to take away on the day.

The store is currently closed all week for a stock take, reopening on Saturday morning.

  • Portique is located at 42 East Street, Wimborne, BH21 1DX.